Marando Bora (quality vines) is a sweetpotato seed system project based in the Lake region of Tanzania. The project’s purpose is to address the main problems associated with sweetpotato vine availability and distribution by developing a sustainable seed system for sweetpotato. It uses voucher and mass distribution strategies to address these problems. Using decentralized vine multipliers in the communities and mass distribution, the project solves the problem by ensuring timely access to planting vines at the beginning of the rain season. From the analysis, we find that sweetpotato is one of the top four most important crops in the Lake region. It is also considered among the top two crops that farmers rely on for food security together with cassava. The most widely grown variety is Polista. The average production of sweetpotato is about 3.5 tons per ha against a potential of 30 tons. Lack of planting material was identified as a constraint that limits the farmers from planting the crop at the onset of the rains. The survey further finds that households in the Lake region consume sweetpotato regularly and consider it an important part of their diet. However, its consumption reduces with increased income. As incomes increase, a big percentage of the respondents do not serve it to an important visitor. Women play a key role in the production of the crop and are involved in all the activities of production. The most important traits for the farmer when selecting the variety to grow are high yields and resistance to both diseases and drought. On 24-hour recall food diversity, we find that 47% of the households and 53% of the children between 6 and 23 months did not meet the WHO 4 group’s minimum food diversity score. Analysis of the 7 days food frequency consumption shows that most of the households did not consume dairy products, eggs, or vegetables at least once a week. About 58% of the households do not meet the WFP food security score. We find that 51% of the households consumed white-fleshed sweetpotato at least once a week, only 2%consumed orange-fleshed sweetpotato. We also find that the wealth index is positively correlated with the sales of crops as well as consumption of food according to the WHO categorization.
Authors: Kirimi Sindi, Stella Wambugu, Kirimi Sindi, Stella Wambugu
Publication Date: 2012
Keywords: Lake Zone, Marando Bora, Seed systems, Sweetpotato vines, Tanzania, Vines multiplication